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To become a PhD, I needed an MD

by Marissa

May 24, 2019

I had less than a year left of my PhD program when I saw that “plus” sign on the pregnancy test. My heart literally dropped to my stomach and I felt like throwing up,…not because of morning sickness, but because I knew I was not ready for a child. Part of me felt guilty for immediately thinking of abortion, even though I part of my research aims to provide equitable access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for women and girls. As a married, middle class woman, my husband and I had the means necessary to support a child. But I knew deciding to continue with my pregnancy would mean putting my goals on hold, because, let’s face it, the woman is usually the one who ends up sacrificing a part (or all) of her career when a child is born. I am incredibly lucky to have a supportive partner that understands “my body, my choice,” and he was there for me throughout the entire process. I have never looked back at my decision with regret. Instead, I look forward to the day when I see another “plus” sign on a pregnancy test and my heart skips a beat, due to excitement, instead of fear.

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